Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 36-38; James 4
James 4 addresses the conflict in the Christian’s lives and conflict in the church. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace etc. The fruit of the flesh is envy, strife, and division. Carnal people will always produce conflict. At the heart of conflict is selfishness. God gives to us the outline to being spirit filled in verses 7-11. First, Submit yourself to God and resist the Devil. The Devil and our flesh are good liars. If we believe the lie we will behave accordingly. Therefore, God has given to us His word as truth. We must submit our desires and our thinking to His word. Second, Draw nigh to God. As we reach out to God, He responds to our efforts. God will never make you desire to be godly. He may allow the consequences that would make us wish we had been godly; however, He desires us to reach out to Him. Thirdly, We must turn from our sin. We must be willing to be honest before God. We must choose virtue, and choose to make our hearts singular with God’s word. Don’t listen to your flesh, the world, or the Devil. A godly person doesn’t approach life as a smorgasbord, but rather as dependent upon God and His word. Fourth, We are to be humble. All of the above will not happen if we are not humble. Pride brings the wrath of God, while humility brings the assistance of God. We must realize that we need God! Fifth, we must never speak evil of one another. We live in a culture that shares information. Information is at our fingertips. We are constantly hearing things from facebook, twitter, instagram, or the news. Just because we hear something does not mean we should ever share it. Sometimes it will require us to stand up to the person who is violating this principle. These ingredients for godliness come in the context that we are not sure how long we will be here on earth. Even a long life will be a short life compared to eternity. How foolish to live for the flesh now and suffer loss in eternity. How foolish to live for the immediate rather than the eternal. How foolish to think we have everything under control and we will be the captain of our own destiny. God’s advice is to live a spirit filled life of godliness.
• Lord, please help me to live completely dependent upon you. You are so wise, loving, and caring. Please never let me forfeit that for the emptiness of this world.
• Lord, please help me to live humbly accepting the responsibility to submit to you, draw nigh to you, and think alike with you.
• Lord, please help me to never speak evil of my brother. It is so easy to do, and takes no thought or planning. Please help me to think before I speak.